Not many people outside of Massachusetts know the story of Chris Herren. I never knew who he was until he came out to California. After things failed to work out for him at Boston College, Herren transferred to Fresno State. At the time, I was fully enthralled with Jerry Tarkanian’s ability to recruit NBA talent to little Fresno State. Now, what many people don’t know is that Fresno is a fairly large city. At 400,000+ residents, it’s about the same size as Oakland or Sacramento, just without suburbs. So, as one of the largest cities in the nation without a major league sports team, it’s a pretty rabid fanbase to have such a popular figure like Tark running the basketball program. He was bringing in guys like Rafer Alston, Tremaine Fowlkes, Terrence Roberson, and Herren, followed by guys like Melvin Ely, Courtney Alexander, and Chris Jefferies. Some went on to succeed in the NBA, some didn’t. But few suffered as far a fall from grace and promise as Chris Herren did. Most people don’t even know who the guy was. I can’t wait to see the full story tomorrow night…
Tag Archives: fresno state
Since I don’t work in professional sports anymore, I find it harder to keep espn.com open on my browser at work. Therefore, I’ve had to find alternate means of keeping up with my sports news. Recently, I’ve channeled my inner-old guy and have started tuning into sports talk radio on my way to and from work. This morning it was Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio griping about the bowl schedule. In the afternoon it was local sports clown Grant Napear ranting (what else is new?) about the horrible matchups. Now I’m not usually a glass-half-full guy, but I don’t see what the problem is. Yes, there are plenty of boring games and terrible matchups, but I wouldn’t call this one of the worst lineups in recent memory. Nevermind that none of my BCS predictions panned out, there’s still plenty of intrigue as far as I’m concerned. Here’s my Top Three and my Bottom Three for the upcoming bowl season….
#1 – BCS National Championship – Oregon vs. Auburn: It’s the national championship game, what else needs to be said? It’s tough to argue the only two major unbeaten teams – with apologies to TCU – being in the big game. It features two of the four Heisman finalists in Cam Newton and LaMichael James and two historically great programs. The only downside is we have to wait until January 10 to see it.
#2 – Rose Bowl – Wisconsin vs. TCU: Sure, a Pac-10-Big Ten matchup of Stanford-Wisconsin would have been the logical choice here, but Wisconsin is widely considered to be the next best team outside of the two unbeatens. Either they’ll solidify that spot, or TCU will make a good case for a share of the national championship – though they won’t get it.
#3 – Las Vegas Bowl – Utah vs. Boise State: I know, the Las Vegas Bowl isn’t exactly the pinnacle of postseason college football, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this will be a great game. I picked both of these teams to earn BCS berths, but a couple of late season losses killed those hopes. Nonetheless, it will feature two teams that have both put together undefeated seasons recently.
The college bowl season has arrived! Today, the first course will be served up in the form of Bulldogs, Cowboys, Knights, and um, Scarlet Knights. While no one expects the Nielsen ratings to jump through the roof, some good football ought to be played today. Here’s some things to look for in today’s games.
New Mexico Bowl. 1:30pm PST. Fresno State vs. Wyoming
Who Will Be Watching: 1.5 million people. Fresno State dominates the Fresno area, which is populated by about 1,000,000 people, but there’s not much of a following throughout the rest of California, with the exception of alumni. Wyoming, however, is the predominant university in the state, which has a population of a little over 500,000.
Who To Watch: Ryan Matthews. The Bulldogs’ RB was quietly one of the best in the nation, leading the country in yards per game at 151 per contest. He’ll be playing for a draft slot, as many people will be seeing him play for the first time.
Who Will Win: Fresno State. The Bulldogs finished the season 8-4, but they played a slightly tougher conference schedule, and also put up a better fight in their losses at Wisconsin and at Cincinnati, and their other two losses were to undefeated Boise State and a pretty underrated Nevada team in Reno. Wyoming, on the other hand, finished 6-6. Of their six losses, four were against ranked teams, and the other two were on the road at tough opponents’ stadiums. They were shut out by Colorado, Air Force, and BYU, and were only able to muster a total of 30 combined points in losses to Texas, Utah, and TCU. Expect Wyoming to put a few more points on the board, but they likely won’t have the resources to contain Matthews.
St. Petersburg Bowl. 5:00pm PST. Rutgers vs. Central Florida
Who Will Be Watching. 750,000 people. Don’t expect anyone outside of Northern New Jersey and the Orlando area to care much about this one. Although, there may be a few scattered fans throughout the country just looking for a football fix.
Who To Watch: Brynn Harvey, UCF, and Tim Brown, Rutgers. Harvey carried the ball 248 times for 1,077 yards and 14 TDs. What’s more impressive? 0 fumbles. As for Brown, while donning a great receiver’s name, he pulled in 51 catches for an average of 20.6 per reception. He’s only 5’8″ 165 lbs, so expect to see a couple deep passes and possibly some fireworks.
Who Will Win: Rutgers. The two teams have identical 8-4 records, but Rutgers plays in a better conference. Although it will be a virtual home game for UCF, the Scarlet Knights are the better team.